#SundaySpotlight – These Fine Moments @thesefinemoments @mcguckinpr

Ten years ago, singer-songwriters Hilary Kaufmann and Robert Watts walked out of Mark Hallman’s  Congress House Studio in Austin, Texas with the five-song EP These Fine Moments, named after a line in one of their songs.

Today, I am super excited to introduce this musical duo to you and let them tell you a bit of their story. Their music is fresh and creative and I haven’t found one song on their newly released album I didn’t like! Their harmony is perfection and the unique chord progressions kept me engaged! I think you’ll agree with me when you listen. But in the meantime, they have a story to share about how the Pandemic has affected their lives.

How has the pandemic affected us, both personally and as musicians?
As far as the toll on us personally, we had already quit our jobs prior to the pandemic to tour more. So when everything shut down and little was expected of us, we stayed up late, slept late, developed our culinary skills, and drank entirely too much wine and Mescal. 
Hilary re-read all of the Harry Potter Books, and I read biographies and watched documentaries. We found common ground by re-watching all of the Marvel movies, the old Star Trek, Picard, and the new Star Trek Discovery series.
But as the reality set in, we were left with a void, and asked ourselves “what are we going to do now?” 
So we opened up our garage doors and gave concerts for the neighbors, learned how to live-stream, and started recording the songs that are on our new self-titled record.
Hilary was eventually able to go back to work part-time, and now she is around other people a lot. But I’m still home all day, and it’s hard on me being by myself so much of the time.  I probably drive Hilary crazy when she is home since she’s the only one I have daily contact with. But if I’m driving her crazy, she hides it pretty well.
From a musician’s standpoint, we don’t know what’s going to be left when the pandemic plays out, or what is our role is going to be. We’ve spent years making contacts and cultivating relationships with clubs and venues around the country, and most of those are probably not coming back.
For now we’re just doing what we can, a little live-streaming and some zoom interviews to promote our record. Having more time on our hands has not automatically translated into more writing and rehearsing, so we really have to put forth an effort to be creative and to stay in shape mentally and physically.
Being musical partners and being in a relationship has actually helped us get through the pandemic and brought us closer together, I can’t imagine trying to keep a band together during these times.

**I think a lot of us can relate to Robert’s words**

And now, here’s a snippet from their new album. Please leave a comment and let them know if you enjoy it!

You can connect with Robert and Hilary here:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Spotify

YouTube

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Paranormal #Romance – Ghostly Interference: (White Rune Series Book 1) by Jan Sikes.

Amazing blogger and author, Sally Cronin, has posted her review of “Ghostly Interference!” Thank you SO much, Sally! I am doing a happy dance today!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Jan Sikesthree days ago Ghostly Interference (The White Rune Series)

About the book

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow…

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WELCOME TO DAY 9 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @nonniejules @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

Nonnie Jules, founder and president of RRBC and RWISA has some brutally honest words about giving and receiving today. Please stop by and read the full post, then choose a side.

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

Welcome to Day 9 and the conclusion of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Nonnie Jules, who is also the Founder of RRBC &RWISA.  Take a peek at her writing below…

A LIFE ISN’T WORTH LIVING IF NOT IN SERVICE TO OTHERS

I’d like to begin by thanking two of my fellowRWISAAuthors who were also on this tour, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko and Linnea Tanner, who both had the courage to write about, or reference the ills of our world, that many would like to keep deeply hidden.  I speak of hatred and systemic racism.  Again, thank you both for your courage to write with such substance and I hope that it is still resonating with all who read both of your pieces.  I am honored that your words are a continual ring…

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WELCOME TO DAY 8 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @KARENSSTORIES @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

Karen Black is sharing some deeply insightful thoughts on Day 8 of the 2021 RWISA Revolution Blog Tour! She makes an apropos comparison of life to a dealer with a deck of cards. How did you handle the hand you were dealt in 2020? Hop on over and read the rest!

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

Welcome to Day 8 of theRWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISAmember and the 2nd graduate ofRWISAUniversity,Author, Karen Black.  Take a peek at her writing below…

THOUGHTS ON TWO THOUSAND TWENTY

Who could have imagined the changes that last year brought to us all? Like so many, I’ve read more than one book that told a tale of life during a pandemic. Scary stuff to be sure, I never expected that fiction would describe so much of that which became reality.

New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday celebration; the end of a chapter and the start of the next one. It is the time to get over mistakes, mishaps, or misfortune that might have littered the past year, and plan for a positive future, with fresh energy and new goals. On December 31, 2020…

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WELCOME TO DAY 7 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @PAT_GARCIA @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

I am so excited to share this author’s blog today! Please take the time to read her post. She has inspired me! AND, today is the release of her new short story, “Turn The Light on!” Congratulations to Pat!

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

Welcome to Day 7 of theRWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Pat Garcia.  Take a peek at her writing below…

THE GOAL, THE PURPOSE, THE  CONTRIBUTION, AND COVID19

Among the books that I have placed in collection boxes on my iPad, Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes is sitting in my favorite collection box. I read it for the first time in the print version of my first year at University.  It impacted my belief system, turned my way of thinking upside down, and challenged me to get my act together and do what I had been called to do.

Later, the song  To Dream The Impossible Dream that is so widely well-known from the musical Man of La Mancha, based on the Don Quixote, had me believing that I could take my experiences…

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#TuesdayRunes – Thurisaz #Runes #RunicSymbols

Welcome back for another segment of exploring the magic of the runes!

The next symbol in The Elder Futhark script is Thurisaz (thoo-ree-sahz).

The keywords are: Protection, warning, contemplation, decisions and luck.

Thurisaz is mainly concerned with aspects of protection and resistance to danger and other unwanted circumstances. The shape of this runic symbol represents a thorn on a branch. It symbolizes the wisdom of choosing a defensive stance, rather than rushing to attack an adversary.

If you go into a challenging or potentially dangerous situation, you can surround yourself with a shield of protective energy, carry a talisman, and be extra mindful of your environment and your actions. Taking these measures is often enough to deter potential attackers from trying to harm or take advantage of you. Consider this rune as a stern but friendly warning to be alert to potential danger.

Another common interpretation of Thurisaz indicates you are facing an important decision requiring careful consideration. Be sure to evaluate every aspect of the situation before making your move. Don’t make your choice from a place of emotion. The ability to come from a rational place when making a decision that could significantly impact your life is another form of protection.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this close look at Thurisaz!

My very good friend, Kay, sent this to me, and I thought it would be fun to add to our exploration of The Runes. It is the first time I’ve seen runes associated to a birth date, much like birthstones. I don’t know if this contains any amount of accuracy, so adding it just for the fun of it.

WELCOME TO DAY 6 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @JANSIKES3 @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

I am up today on the RWISA Revolution Blog Tour! And, I’m sharing some blogging tips! I’ve made some fabulous friends around the globe through blogging. A BIG “Thank You” to everyone who follows me!

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

Welcome to Day 6 of theRWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Jan Sikes, who is also RWISAVice-President.  Take a peek at her writing below…

HOW BLOGGING KEEPS ME SANE

As with each new year that rolls around, I view it as an opportunity to start with a fresh perspective and clean slate.

When I looked back on my goals for 2020, I found with some sense of satisfaction, I had accomplished almost all of them, despite the pandemic.

Some goals remain the same from year to year, such as clean eating, exercising, practicing meditation, being kind, and gentle with myself and others. I classify those as my permanent or ongoing goals. They never change.

Setting expanded goals for 2021 was quite different. COVID19 has affected us all. Not only in the way we socialize…

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Monday #Meditation #Motivation #Tarot

Happy Monday! I have much to be thankful for after the struggles of the past week. The quote above really spoke to me. I do believe it to be truth.

Here is today’s meditation to start your day filled with positive energy. Enjoy!

The Tarot Cards for this week could not be more appropriate.

The Five of Swords indicates a battle of some sort, and for many, this past week was a huge battle for survival. The Five of Cups shows a situation may not have turned out like you wanted or that you are suffering some sort of loss. For those affected by the arctic storm that passed over, loss is part of the aftermath. But the Two of Wands wraps it up with future planning, progress and personal goals. It can also represent a decision of some sort. So, even though we’ve had some hard times, the days ahead are promising. I hope that sets the tone for this week for everyone.

Thank you for joining me today and I wish you a positive and fulfilling week ahead!

Reporting In – Texas Catastrophic Weather

Good morning world!

I am finally back in my home and happy to report I came home to electricity and water. No internet, but this morning even that is back. I am so blessed and feeling a little guilty to have things back to my normal when so many are still suffering.

After I lost power, a wonderful friend took me to my daughter’s house on Monday. There, we had off and on power but had water and a gas cook stove. Then on Wednesday, my son-in-law discovered that because they have solar panels on the house, could set the status to Stormwatch and we began charging directly off the Tesla grid. From that point on, we had power with no blackouts.

I took my laptop with me but it totally crapped out, so all I had was my phone. Have you ever tried to keep up with emails and blogs on your phone? Some folks can do it. I can’t.

But at least I was there with family, safe warm and loved.

I took care of the children while Mom and Dad continued to try and work. We did lots of craft projects, made snow angels, had hot chocolate, made alien men out of marshmallows, baked cookies and eventually yesterday got to make a snowman when the snow got wet enough to stick together.

Now, I will be playing catch-up and making a great attempt to visit the blogs I missed during the week. If I don’t make it around to everyone, forgive me.

And I will resume my regularly scheduled Monday Meditation, Tuesday Runes, books, writing and music blogs.

I’m so thankful to have escaped this catastrophic weather with only small inconveniences. I am blessed indeed.

One of Rick’s favorite winter jokes was about a woman who slipped on the ice and fell. She shook her fist at the ice and said, “July will take care of you.” 🙂 And it will.

How is everyone out there? I’ve missed you!

Yikes! Houston We Have A Problem

I am so sorry, my blogger friends. As I’m sure you know, Texas has turned into a deep freeze. Unfortunately, we are not equipped for these kinds of single digit temperatures or the ice and snow.

I lost power at 3 a.m. today and since I live in an all electric apartment, I had no heat, no way to cook, no way to even make a cup of coffee. When it was still off around noon, a friend of my daughter who has a 4 wheel drive vehicle came and picked me up and brought me to my daughter’s house.

For now, we have heat. The power comes and goes, but I am safe, with family and warm. Unfortunately, I am unable to visit any of your blogs or respond to email.

I’ll be back, but for now, I’m out of pocket. Keep us in your thoughts. Comments are closed as internet is also coming and going. Mostly going. Take care everyone.